Friday, December 24, 2010

barreling through the christmas carols

things one and two have been singing the praises of the season in lusty, if sometimes confused, harmony:
  • from deck the halls: "hail the new year, lads in glasses"
  • from i'll be home for christmas: "we'll have snow and bistletoe"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a real gift

we're one step closer to treating all people like people. merry christmas, everyone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

things my children have argued about today

  • what treats to leave for santa this christmas (this one brought them to tears)
  • who will make chocolate milk for whom
  • whether or not they are playing a trick on each other or being "real" (this one got kind of metaphysical)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

it's time for a minnesota church supper, dontcha know

that menu, in case you can't read it from my wonderful iphone snapshot, is:
  • lutefisk (fish soaked in lye, for the uninitiated. according to cooking experts, the finished product "is the consistency of jello.")
  • swedish meatballs
  • rutabegas
  • boiled potatoes
  • pickled beets
  • lefse
  • limpa rye bread
  • condiments (an exoticism to many lutherans)
  • coffee (the most holy of lutheran beverages)
  • milk
  • water
  • rice pudding with lingonberries
all for a mere (?) $17 a head.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

next i plan the invasion of a small country

who says your skeelz have to rust when you're a stay-at-home mommy? today was a logistical tour de force:
  • last night, mom friend a had offered to ferry my non-barfer, whom we'll call child 1, to and from preschool with her youngest (child 2) so i could stay home with my barfer (child 3).
  • but when mom a arrived this morning to pick up child 1, she announced that her eldest (child 4) was at home and had just that second called to announce he had barfed. on her bed.
  • so i offered to retrieve child 1 and child 2 after preschool, stashing child 3 in my van while i ran into the building, so she could stay home with child 4.
  • shortly after that, mom friend b called and offered to bring child 1 home. i said i would have loved that, but i was on the hook for child 2 as well now, so i'd just go.
  • then mom a called to say she had run into mom friend c during drop-off at preschool (still with me?), and mom c had offered to bring home child 1 and child 2 so child 3 and child 4 could remain immobile. i said i would have loved that, but child 1 would FREAK OUT if anyone but a hand-selected few tried to pick her up.
  • so i called mom b back to take her up on her offer. she said sure, but she'd be a few minutes late because first she would be dropping off child 5, whom she was also picking up from preschool because his mother (d, if we're still keeping track) recently had back surgery.
amazingly enough, all the children ended up in the right places with the right mommies. and i haven't got the stomach flu. yet.

Monday, November 1, 2010

ringworm and the stomach flu

that's a description of chez nous today, not some new indie band name.


nothing says "the morning after halloween" like a 6:30 am dum dum sucker and a pixie stix chaser.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

the agony of the feet

thing one has become quite enamored of the baseball playoffs (me thinks because she'll watch anything on the glowing box), but she's not quite there yet on the details: she told me that the minnesota twins lost to the new york hankies.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

i again embrace the womanly art of needlework

my god, i amuse me.

take my first grader, please

children are the world's worst joke tellers. here is a sample of thing one's homegrown "humor"
why did the chicken cross the chicken coop to get to the other side?

to get the chicken's eggs!
(laughs uncontrollably)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

public service announcements

psa 1: gentlemen, when you choose to run around the lake - and bully for you, getting some cardio in - please do not cap off your workout by dropping to the grassy median between the paths and doing bicycle-style sit-ups in your short shorts. please.

psa 2: apparently one of the calvin klein underwear models is doing some construction work on a house in south minneapolis today. ladies, you might want to swing by 49th and logan: kind of a young brad pitt-matt damon thing going on there.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

things my five-year-old asks me at bedtime

  • what's a counselor?
  • when you tie your shoe, what do you do after you make the bunny ear loop?
  • what are the lines in your hand for?
go. to. sleep.

Friday, September 24, 2010

why do you hate the baby? installment no. 820

at my daughter's school, twins johnny and...messiah.

i am not making this up; i'm looking at the school directory right now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

why do you hate the baby? installment no. 819

here are the names of some of the children at swim lessons yesterday: heinz (medium-bad). serenity. and...zen.

i so wish i could be there when those parents yell at their children. "goddammit zen, i said to get your shoes on!" or, in a nod to seinfeld, "serenity, now!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

it is good to turn 5

and eat cupcake batter in your elmo undies.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

genuis, for only $1.29

both the song, with its impossibly catchy, isley brothersesque hooks, and the video, which should win whatever awards there are for this sort of thing.

must go listen on ipod over and over now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

health care math

i recently had day surgery. it was such a minor event, i can hardly even bring myself to call it surgery; instead, let's call it "a procedure."

for said procedure, i arrived at the hospital at 10:30, began at noon, and was through recovery and on my way home by 4. didn't even have general anesthesia, just that stuff that makes you dopey.

the bill for the procedure has arrived, and the total is: $17,336.63. seventeen thousand dollars. and change. for half a day: no overnight, minimal meds. sweet fancy moses, and thank god the handsome man's company offers good insurance.

Friday, August 13, 2010

they enjoy being girls

"when i have a brand new hairdo,
with my eyelashes all in curl,
i float as the clouds on air do,
i enjoy being a girl!"

did you know back-to-school haircuts now come with free glitter nails or funky hair?

it's a good life.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

things my four-year-old asks me at bedtime

  • are there red frogs?
  • why are babies' mattresses hard?
  • how come the words "pretend" and "imaginary" mean the same thing?
  • when can we go to the carousel again?

paint it, carpet it, goooooo team!

most people yell at the tv during sports. not my people: my mother and daughter are downstairs talking back to hgtv. apparently some designer needs to be benched.

Friday, July 30, 2010

tall ships and small people

notes from the second annual family long weekend in duluth:
  • the tall ships® are in town! which means 15 minutes of looking at a tall ship® and three hours appeasing whinny children, visiting the nearby park, spending $12 on one hot dog and two plates of fries, and horsing around the leftovers of said fries plus three rain jackets, a balloon pirate sword and a balloon doggie and leash through the massive tall ships® crowds. (the sword survived; fido did not.)
  • the kate gosslin haircut is alive and well in the north country. looks like a flock of startled birds alighted in the two harbors area.
  • if you have a very chubby child, here's what not to dress her in: a t-shirt from the university of wisconsin-stout that says STOUT across the chest.
  • nothing like a hotel potty backing up to say "relaxation." took out all the room towels. the mommy vacation: down on hands and knees with floor cleaner and rags.
  • there's nothing a hot bath, cold shower and warm towel cannot fix.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

things my four-year-old asks me at bedtime

  • how teeny are ants' mouths?
  • who people do we not know?
go to sleep, child.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

this is why people in other countries hate us

seen at the upscale toy and kids store: $24.99 burp clothes.

i'm sure they're wonderful. i'm sure they have many amazing features: they potty train your kids, teach them spanish, and cheer their soccer games.

but still...$25? for burp clothes? burp, which, as anyone who has spent time around babies knows, is a cute little euphemism for "copious amounts of projectile vomit"? $25 for something intended to catch puke? really? really?!

Monday, June 14, 2010

backroads bingo

as we enter the season of grotesquely long car trips, here's a little something to keep the kiddies amused.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

a scarlet e upon my chest

here's a surefire way to piss off other parents: let your 4 and 6-year-old daughters get their ears pierced (yes, mom, really). hoo boy. methinks i may become an elementary school pariah.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

things my children have argued about today

  • whether all birthstones are jewels
  • the age of a stuffed giraffe
  • who interrupted whom (this took quite a while to resolve because - yes - they kept interrupting each other)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

my transformation into the crypt keeper is apparently complete

just returned from a doctor's appointment. while the nurse took my info, i killed some time knitting. the nurse looked at what i was doing and said:
"are you making that for a grandchild?"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

we must never, ever make fun of the ipad again

granted, it's not the greatest product name. but it can't compete in the awfulness department with what i heard today on the radio. the announcer was talking about:
"the new barnes & noble nook e-book reader"
but what it sounded like was:
"the new barnes & noble nookie book reader"
did no one in their marketing department ever say this stuff out loud?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

you know your play date is ending badly when...

the guest erupts in chicken pox. even though he's been vaccinated.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the trouble with laptops

there are now three laptop computers on my smallish dining room table, up from two the day before and one prior to that. these things are multiplying like freaking tribbles around here. tis life with IT guy.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

best mother's day present ever

thing one's teacher, saint margo, compiled the favorite recipes of all her kindergarteners and created a cook book for all the moms. how she managed to take dictation on these creations with a straight face, i will never know.

here are some samples:

josie's chicken with a really yummy sauce on it (cuban chicken)
  • whole jar of olives
  • whole small can of tomato paste
  • whole onion - skin peeled then chopped up in little slices
mix it in a blender. take it out and see how smooth it is. if it's smooth, take it out. if it's not, put it back in and blend it some more. pour it over the chicken. cook the chicken for maybe about 10 minutes or so at 8 degrees.

emma's chicken noodle soup
  • 1 piece of chicken
  • 100 noodles
  • 1 cup of water
put one piece of chicken, 100 noodles and 1 cup of water in a bowl. cook it on a stove for 2 minutes.

sierra's homemade cupcake
  • 2 cups vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp coconut
  • 4 eggs
  • whipped cream
you put it in a mixer then mix it for 2 minutes. get a cupcake pan. put cupcake papers in. put the dough in. cook it for 3 minutes at 8 degrees.

eli's gingerbread man
  • baking dough
  • you can put m&ms on it
smash it. then cook it in the oven maybe 10 minutes at 20 degrees. then put the m&ms on for the mouth, the eyes and the buttons.

braeden's lasagna
  • noodle thing that's bumpy - maybe about two eighths
  • sauce - enough to fill the whole bottom of the blue tray
  • white stuff - about this much (2 hands held close together)
first put the sauce in the bottom of the blue tray. put in the white stuff. put on the noodles. then you do that all over again. then you cook it in the oven for a minute or two. maybe at 8 degrees.

happiness is

five gallon-size bags of freshly harvested and chopped rhubarb. there are some benefits to living in minnesota.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


outside a store near my daughter's eye doctor:


the mind reels...

Friday, April 16, 2010

the mommy day planner

6 am - alarm goes off
6:04 - alarm goes off
6:08 - alarm goes off
6:12 - alarm goes off; get up
6:12-6:30 - check bank balance (still solvent), check e-mail, check
6:30-7:25 - make breakfasts and lunches, rouse and clothe child a, unload and reload dishwasher, break up fights between children, make beds, shove husband and child a out the door
7:25-7:30 - eat
7:30-8 - play don't break the ice, read books with child b
8-8:30 - reassemble basement office post construction
8:30 - ready child b for walk around lake: pack doll, snack and water; sunglasses, kleenex, hand wipes and lap robe already in stroller
8:35 - wait, more breakfast!
8:45-9:45 - walk around lake, engaging in metaphysical discussions with child b ("our ground is the sky for the earth underneath the ground"; "when you climb up to space, you're in outer space")
9:45-10:15 - help child b create and assemble fourth of july wreath (why? why now?)
10:15 - soothe child having nervous breakdown over operation of scotch tape and glue stick; feed child snack
10:20-10:45 - shower, dress, ask child b to dress, allow child b to remain in jammies, exit dwelling
11-11:15 - pick up prescription refills (antidepressants - yea!), grocery shop
11:15-12:15 - have four pairs of eyeglasses adjusted, two each for self and child b
12:15-12:45 - return home, prepare lunches, feed child b, eat
12:45-1:30 - play don't break the ice, read books
1:30-1:40 - ready child b (still in jammies) to leave, head out
1:40 - pick up child a from school
1:50 - remind child a we're not staying to play after school today; argue
2-2:30 - go home, get child b's allowance of 6 quarters, return to school to purchase tiny plastic squishy animals and cheap-ass bling jewelry from vending machines in park building, go home for real
2:30-3:30 - adjust insurance policies, make cutout bunnies with cotton tails for child a (why? easter is over), help child a create fourth of july wreath (parity)
3:30-4 - children watch tv downstairs; blessed, blessed silence
4-4:20 - spiff up child a
4:20 - take child a to birthday party
4:40 - return home; check to make sure present is wrapped for child a's next birthday party tomorrow
4:40-5:45 - make dinner with 4-year-old jammie-clad sous chef
5:45-6:15 - eat dinner with sous chef; more metaphysical discussions and many fart jokes
6:15 - leave to pick up child a, pass returning husband ("hi") in the garage
6:30-6:45 - attempt to wrest child a from birthday party venue
6:45-7 - return home, dump children on husband, engage in 5 minutes of marital discourse, flee the dwelling
7-8:15 - walk around lake with friend
8:15-9 - wrangle children into bed, stare glassy-eyed at computer
9-10 - bath (blessed, blessed silence)
10 - pass out

Sunday, April 11, 2010

here comes peter bushy tail

the mystery of the 13 missing easter eggs has been cracked (ha) - it was the squirrels. we actually spotted one eating a gummy bunny yesterday.

Friday, April 9, 2010

extremely casual friday

pantless, in fact.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

it had to happen

now thing two's dollhouse people are arguing with each other. it sounds like i have a schizophrenic 4-year-old:
"i want to sit on the big part of the merry-go-round!"

"no, i do!"

"no, i do!"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

why do you hate both the babies?

in the latest food allergy news for kids newsletter: two brothers, ages 3 and 5.

names? mercury and lincoln.

perhaps they're expecting little baby chevrolet.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

a series of unfortunate events

1. going to target the monday after spring break ended for all minneapolis public schools

apparently every other mom in minneapolis had the same idea. and apparently we all shop at the same target location.

2. three coins in the toilet

our toilet is having some kind of personality crisis and has begun to imitate a fountain. actually, it imitated a fountain once, last night. since then, we've been steadfastly avoiding it until bob the plumber shows up. i suspect it's going to take significantly more than three coins to fix.

3. why do you hate the baby?

from the archives of bad baby names: foley schmidt. over a loudspeaker at a ball game. "FOLEY SCHMIDT!" say it out loud a couple times.

4. "mom, keely just barfed!"


Friday, April 2, 2010

the love affair with worms continues

the girls just poked their heads in the back door from playing outside in the drizzle.

"want to see my worm pockets?!" asked thing one.

she had filled her rain slicker pockets with water (darn impermeable plastics), and thing two had then filled the pockets with...worms.

masses of writhing worms, some of them seeming to reach up to me with their plaintive little heads. (butts? who can tell?)

and of course, i had to do the good, modern mommy thing and say, "wow, that's really interesting - what an unusual application for your pocket" while my brain was screaming, "WORMS! AIEEEEEEE! WORMS! GET THOSE FUCKING WORMS AWAY FROM ME! MOMMY IS FUCKING FREAKED OUT BY WORMS! WOOOOOOORMS!"

they just came back in. i made sure the pockets were empty before i let them pass through the door.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"do you want to pet my worms, mom?"

oh dear god. this was not in the so, you're having a girl! brochure.

who would have guessed i'd wind up with a budding oligochaetologist?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

so long, farewell

auf wiedersehen, ugly bathroom. adieu, ugly ceiling.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

mississippi delta, northern tributary

spring + small children + park play date = icky tub sediment

Monday, March 22, 2010

the dingo ate my basement wall!

toro dingo, that is.

ah, home renovations. soon we will be the proud possessors of an egress window.

and my husband's new 37" lcd mistress has arrived...

Friday, March 19, 2010

27 excedrin should do it, i think

sheetrockers + air gun + hysterical, noise-averse 6-year-old = the bitch mother of all headaches.

my eye is twitching.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

what not to say to your wife: the first in a new (and likely robust) series

"gee, that's a big salad. you must be really hungry."

shaddap, stick-boy. this is how i keep my girlish figure.

especially after those little sirens in girl scout uniforms got to me with their thin mints.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

dear merriam-webster

for your consideration:

de•man•darin or•ange noun di-'man-d(ə-)rən 'är-inj - a small citrus fruit demanded by pushy children.

"i want some of those demandarin oranges we had at sierra's house!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

let's go meat!

heard coming from the basement of a friend's coworker's house, as the tv broadcasts the olympics:

4-year-old: "A-S-S! A-S-S! A-S-S!"

mom, upstairs: "olivia, what are you saying!"

4-year-old: "i'm cheering for our team, mom! A-S-S! A-S-S!"

mom: "you mean U-S-A?"

4-year-old: "yeah, U-S-A! U-S-A!"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

i didn't know the pod people stopped by

but apparently they did and took thing one with them. the facsimile they left in her place was very convincing until this afternoon, when it showed up with the book it had picked out at the school book fair: math machine - a fun new way to do math! it hardly has any words, just a bunch of sliding pieces that move over numbers so you can solve equations.

this cannot be my child.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

best birthday present ever

my babies, knowing how little i care for winter, made me "a box of spring" - construction paper violets, peonies, chrysanthemums, roses, tulips, lilies of the valley, daffodils, and tiger lilies.

sweet, sweet babies.


a friend told me yesterday that i don't look a day over 36, and i realized that is a compliment since she shaved 9 years off my age.

when did i become the crypt keeper?


it's great my children have active, questioning little minds, but do they have to be active and questioning so early in the morning?

thing two likes to start the day with a question-and-answer period. today's topic - at 4:53 a.m. - "what did people do before they had electricity?"

Monday, February 15, 2010

well, that helps take the sting out of turning 45

from my in-laws: $100 and a flask.

i like my husband's people.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

the new math

so, if edy's slow churned ice cream has 100 calories per serving, and there are 12 servings in the carton, and you can lose weight by limiting yourself to 1,200 calories a day, then if i eat nothing but ice cream, i'll lose weight.

i see no flaw in this reasoning.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

my children are weird

"mommy, can we watch antiques roadshow?"

"um, sure."


four-year-old logic

getting ready to head to preschool this morning, i piled thing two's winter gear by the back door and asked her to put it on while i threw on my walking clothes. when i got back to the kitchen, there she was, all bundled up.

as i walked to the door to leave, i caught a glimpse of thing two's bedroom...with her skirt laid neatly on the bed. when i asked her what was going on, she said proudly, "i took my skirt off so it wouldn't get bunched up in my snow pants!"

why do you hate the baby? installment no. 316

here's a name from a church bulletin, announcing the joyous arrival of...tennyson yosemite.


dogs, people. this is why you get dogs. or cats. or hamsters. or start an indie band. you don't inflict something like this on a human being.

that kid is so changing his name to john someday.

Friday, January 29, 2010

negative four

negative fucking four degrees.

why. why. why?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

paging merriam-webster

i respectfully submit:

at•tack•le (ə-'ta-kəl) verb: to chase, capture and then be flummoxed by.

"owen attackled me and selena today at recess, but then he let us go and we ran away."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

things i never thought my husband would need to say, installment no. 217

  • "don't rub your banana on the wall!"
  • "don't rub your banana on the floor!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

my new hero

"legalizing same-sex marriage would be a recognition of basic american principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation's commitment to equal rights...the very idea of marriage is basic to recognition as equals in our society; any status short of that is inferior, unjust, and unconstitutional...the underlying rights and liberties that marriage embodies are not in any way confined to heterosexuals...i do not believe that our society can ever live up to the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness until we stop this invidious discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

-theodore olson, life-long republican who served two republican presidents and successfully argued bush v. gore before the supreme court, and who is now preparing to challenge california's ban on gay marriage